Gwen eyes P186 million annual savings with planned downgrading of four departments
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia is looking at an annual savings of P186 million with the planned downgrading of four departments into divisions under the Office of the Governor.
In a meeting between Garcia and the majority of the board members last Friday, July 5, 2019, the officials tackled the steps to reverting the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), Cebu Provincial Investment and Promotions Office (CPIPO), Provincial Tourism Office and the Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Office (CPADAO) back to the Governor’s office.
Garcia, in a separate interview on Monday, July 8, said the province can save about P186 million if the said departments will be downgraded.
“The monthly total we spend for salaries is P27,058,000 for the four departments alone. If we downgrade these to divisions, we will only be spending P11,543,000 for salaries for a monthly savings of P15,515,000. In one year, that is P186 million,” Garcia said.
Seventh district Board Member Christopher Baricuatro, the PB’s majority floor leader, said they will have to pass legislation to repeal or amend the ordinances that provided for the creation of the said departments.
With the cut in operating cost, Garcia said the Capitol can spend the province’s resources “more prudently and more judiciously” to create more projects that will impact the people.
“Everyday that passes, we are spending, spending a lot on unnecessary departments that can function just as effectively as divisions under the Office of the Governor. As I told our board members, I assure you I am a very hands-on governor and whatever goals we may set for each of these departments, I will see to it that these goals are met even as they will be downgraded into divisions,” Garcia said.
Under the reorganization, the officials did not discount the possibility that some staff from the said offices may no longer be needed.
But Garcia said the Capitol will be adhering to the provisions of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) for the compensation of each of those who will be affected.
Under Republic Act 6656 or the law protecting the security of tenure of government employees in case of reorganization, employees who will be cut from their posts shall be entitled to a separation pay equivalent to one month of his basic salary multiplied by the number of years he has rendered. The separation pay should be payable within 90 days.
Meanwhile, Baricuatro said the funds allocated for these departments in the 2019 annual budget of Cebu province may need to be realigned when the offices are reverted to the Office of the Governor.
The budget, he said, cannot be deleted since the offices also have their own programs and projects even if they will be under the Office of the Governor. /bmjo
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